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EDITORIAL
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 45-46

District medical colleges in India – Addressing the rural health-care needs


Honorary Director, Institute of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Submission30-Nov-2022
Date of Acceptance30-Nov-2022
Date of Web Publication19-Dec-2022

Correspondence Address:
Raman Kumar
049, Crema Tower, Mahagun Mascot, Crossing Republik, Ghaziabad - 201 016, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jssrp.jssrp_27_22

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  Abstract 


The shortfall of human resources in health has resulted in skewing the distribution of health workers such that vulnerable populations in rural, tribal, and hilly areas continue to be extremely underserved. To address the regional disparities in medical education and availability of human resources in health, the policy of establishing one medical college at each district in India was initiated. The situation of human resources in health remains inadequate. To address the regional disparities in medical education and availability of human resources in health, the policy of establishing one medical college at each district in India was initiated. Impressive progress has been made during the past few years with respect to opening new medical colleges in the area of need across geographical coverage.

Keywords: District medical college, health policy in India, human resource in health, rural health


How to cite this article:
Kumar R. District medical colleges in India – Addressing the rural health-care needs. J Surg Spec Rural Pract 2022;3:45-6

How to cite this URL:
Kumar R. District medical colleges in India – Addressing the rural health-care needs. J Surg Spec Rural Pract [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Feb 2];3:45-6. Available from: http://www.jssrp.org/text.asp?2022/3/3/45/364430



Rural India faces unique health-care challenges. These include remoteness to health facilities, scarce human resources, lack of infrastructure, and inadequate referral services. Contrary to other parts of the world, the rural regions of India are often densely populated and up to 60% of the population lives in rural areas. Rural regions are also diverse from the deserts of Rajasthan to the hilly terrain of the northeast.

India currently hosts the largest medical education system in the world with 650 medical colleges and 98613 MBBS (undergraduate) training seats. However, the medical colleges are unevenly spread across the states, in urban and rural areas, and present wide disparities in the quality of education. The medical colleges are unevenly distributed with almost one-third of them located in the southern part of India. The areas and states that are more underdeveloped or in need of human resource in health have a lesser capacity to produce medical doctors and other health-care professionals The shortfall of human resources in health has resulted in skewing the distribution of health workers such that vulnerable populations in rural, tribal, and hilly areas continue to be extremely underserved. To address the regional disparities in medical education and availability of human resources in health, the policy of establishing one medical college at each district in India was initiated. The situation of human resources in health remains inadequate. To address the regional disparities in medical education and availability of human resources in health, the policy of establishing one medical college at each district in India was initiated.

According to the guidelines on "the establishment of new medical colleges attached with existing district/or referral hospitals," the objectives of this scheme were as follows: (a) To establish 58 medical colleges with an intake capacity of 100 in each to increase 5800 seats at the undergraduate level in the government sector. (b) To bridge the gap in the number of seats available in the government and private sector to ensure the availability of more MBBS seats for students who cannot afford costly medical education in the private sector. (c) To mitigate the shortage of doctors by increasing the number of undergraduate seats in the country for equitable health-care access across the states. (d) To utilize the existing infrastructure of district hospitals for increasing undergraduate seats in a cost-effective manner by attaching new medical colleges with existing district/referral hospitals. (e) Additional human resources in health generated by the scheme would meet the health-care needs of the growing population and ensure that doctors are available at PHC/CHC/district level to ensure service guarantee under NRHM. (f) Broadcasting of Medical Education in the country by setting up 58 new colleges, preferably in underserved areas. According to a report of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare titled "Governance Reforms in Medical Education (20142022)," since 2014, India has witnessed an increase of 67% in the establishment of medical colleges along with around 96% increase in the number of government medical colleges and 42% increase in the private sector. This has resulted in an 87% increase in the UG (MBBS) medical seats and the postgraduate medical seats have also increased by 105% since 2014. This is an impressive achievement over a period of decades.

The scheme of one medical college in each district is an excellent project given the fact that the geographical coverage of medical colleges across India is improving and there are now more medical colleges in the government sector. In the context of rural needs, the entire medical education. The entire medical education system of India needs to be aligned with the objective of covering the entire population achieving – affordability, accessibility, and availability in health care. The rural areas may not need the same model of medical college tertiary care modeled hospitals. They could stead over community-based smaller facilities. Furthermore, there is a need to give priority to the local population/students while eligibility for admission to these colleges is decided. It has been widely established that the students from the underprivileged areas are more likely to stay and work in the same areas. Overall, the district medical college scheme is likely to impact the health-care delivery and availability of human resource positively.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.






 

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